Sunday, 13 January 2019

Making Environments Less Conducive to Eczema Outbreaks and Itching

House Dust 

House dust aggrevates my eczema and can only think this might be due to the dust mites. Of course the obvious solution is to ensure the environment is as dust free as possible. Seems am okay with other types of dust. Perhaps house dust has too much human skin circulating with it.

Dampness 

Many sufferers will tell you sunlight, sand and sea have been helpful in reducing eczema symptoms and thus the skin begins to heal.  Of course there will also be the exceptions. My cousin has recently found sunlight makes her skin erupt in rashes.....

However I now wonder about that.

I had a eureka moment. Had been in an environment that was damp and cold. My skin is great in the cold without the heating, so I continued living in this place for a week without the heating on. Unfortunately I was breaking out in rash spots and thought it was due too diet.

Back in my own home, the outbreak of eczema that I had in the other place worsened. It was always itchiest after a hot shower and getting into a cold bed during winter.

As I reflected, one thing I had noticed was the dampness of my skin and this was before digging into the epidermal layer.

Solutions

1. Make sure the room is dry. Have invested in a dehumidifier and this makes a difference to the room environment.

2. Make sure have had a wash way ahead of bed time. Previously a warm body getting into a cold bed would mean there is a certain amount of condensation being formed (that's what I think). Hence having a wash ahead of time means the body has had time to cool down.

3. Make sure the sheets have been warmed on a radiator before getting into bed. I sleep on the floor so it's pretty easy to warm up the bedding on a radiator without too much work.  Again as in the previous point - my body + warmed up bedding makes it easier to create a non-condensing environment in bed.

So now I wonder if my cousin's sudden allergy to sunlight could also be due to dampness on her skin and perhaps talcum powder might help her.

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Antihistamine and Cognition

I am a long term user of anthistamines and use antihistamines for at least 2 weeks of the month before my period when everything just itches, although do tend to reduce the dosage by splitting my tablets in 1/2 or if it is easy into quarters.

One of the things I observed is that I tend to be more forgetful and wondered if this was a sign of dementia. Had also noticed when am off antihistamine, the cognition improved and my memory was far better.

Interesting to read this article that appears to confirm my observations:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10856168

Here is another article you might want to look at if you use Anthistamines:
https://www.mdedge.com/edermatologynews/article/10460/atopic-dermatitis/most-antihistamines-cause-some-cognitive-impairment

Remember to drink more water (find using a bottle helps me) and to eat more greens (thankfully I grow my own)

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Stay Dry to Overcome Dampness Itchiness

Every night my legs and torso have been feeling itchy. I couldn't understand why.

And I scratched more than I should have converting the initial reactions to eczema.

I blamed this on winter. I dislike the heating drying out my skin

I also noted after having a shower and getting into a cold bed seemed to make me itch. (I do like a cold bed)

It was only by chance that having heated up my blankets on the radiator and feeling dry that I discovered there was a distinct lack of itching. I slept well for a change.

So now understand that dampness is rubbish for my skin and need to find strategies to replace dampness with dryness such as after playing sport, my damp clothes make me itch. Now change clothes as soon as possible to ensure less itch time.

Friday, 17 August 2018

Diet and Eczema

This is a great post on Phytochemicals and Eczema:

https://kylejnorton.blogspot.com/2013/11/phytochemicals-and-depression_21.html

My observations on myself from the author's post:

- Peanut oil certainly does cause outbreaks with me.

- Probiotics - may have an effect. Hadn't thought about it but I have increased my probiotics and now when I think about it, is most likely to have a positive effect on the skin as this would affect the gut bacteria and hence related toxins that would be generated

- B6 and B12 - have been taking tablets on occasions - and skin has responded well.

Hmmmmm

Monday, 6 August 2018

Parabens, Phthalates & MSG

I recently have had a series of aggressive reactions:

- After eating Chinese take away
- When helping someone hang their laundry on a line

Having much better skin than in the past, I have become complacent. The worst thing about eczema is when you go into "destroy mode", it is hard to break yourself out of the deadlock hold of "the scratch" especially when you're trying to sleep.

MSG Destruction

The work place wanted to have a Fat Friday as a team meal and was persuaded to partake in a Chinese take away. I have avoided foods that have chemically laced MSG such as Chinese restaurants for such a long time and the skin condition was pretty good, I thought why not. It tasted quite satisfying.......but then the aftermath of an MSG feast. Headache, restlessnest and a darn itchy neck. My neck is an MSG / dehydration detector and it doesn't take long to destroy skin that has mostly healed.....red, raw and sore before I got up had lots to drink and an antihistamine to stop the itch attack that had now alerted the inner arms, the legs.....everywhere wanted to join the itch party.

The next day found several of my colleagues had suffered dehydration symptoms which I can only suggest it is MSG related.

* MSG = mono sodium glutamate. It is a naturally occuring substance added as a flavour enhancer.

Anyhow no more Chinese Take Away EVER for me.....as well as any other foods that contain MSG as an added ingredient (like crisps, processed meats, pot noodles and some seasonings). Me poor neck is a mess.

Parabens & Phthlates


The other day I helped someone put out their laundry, was over powered by the heavy fragrance, and broke out in rashes during the handling of their phthalate / plasticiser infested clothing….(yeah I am sensitive).  Why do I blame the phthalate? Cos the smell irritated me. In fact it could also be due to parabens still on the clothes. Parabens and Phthlates are 2 chemicals that is in many liquid soaps (body, hand, hair) and laundry detergents:

However the EU thinks differently on this and will be restricting the use of 4 types of phthalates: https://www.env-health.org/resources/press-releases/article/europe-finally-recognises-four

Additionally Phthalate exposure has been linked to an increased occurrence of atopic diseases including allergic rhinitis, wheezing, and eczema
FYI: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4626318/
The person had told me they had added double the recommended dosage as their clothes were stained with a dye.  Unfortunately I had an aggressive itch attack and again only did something about it when I was tearing into my skin making myself feel un well.


Oh well back to the drawing board. Glad the sun is out.....

Friday, 30 March 2018

Hydrogen Peroxide


Have had one of those episodes of strange rashes. On one side of my face, have been suffering from hives or urticaria which swells, burns and stings. It looks almost as if someone has punched me at times. It later proceeds to continue with with a niggly itch as if insects are walking on my face, and then goes scaly. This tends to happen in winter and goes away for a couple of months in summer (GP said it's eczema). Been off and on since December.

In February, another rash formed on the inside of my thigh and was mirrored on the opposite thigh. I wish I had bothered to take photos.Anyway it has been itchy everyday and wondered about it occurring from lack of sun.

Anyhoo, I found a bottle of hydrogen peroxide and thought I'd apply it on the rashes. Have been using a dilution of 1-2. The hard redness of both rashes has reduced after two days of applying. Maybe it has bleached the skin. Will see after a week of application. Makes me wonder if it is some type of fungal infection instead.

BTW if you do decide to try this. Hydrogen Peroxide stings like #$%# if you have any cuts.

Wishing you happy healing

Saturday, 13 January 2018

The Tale of Two Rashes

Rash 1:
Sleep and regularly getting out in the daylight has been difficult. During Nov I was on a project, I got up sat on my computer, for lunch I went outside for about 20-30 mins and then continued back on my computer until the early morning before forcing myself to bed.

With everyone back in the house, the heating had been turned back up to 17 degs by the beginning of Dec (I had it down to 14 degs when I was by myself for a month).

By mid-Dec a small dry area appeared on my let cheek. It burned and spread to around my eye. I thought it might be some type of fungal infection, so applied some anti-fungal cream for about a week. At first it improved the condition and then spread even more around the cheek and forehead. Tried longer bouts in the outdoors hoping it needed infra-red. No real joy. Applying lots of cream soothed it and sometimes felt it was burning the skin. Recently also took a quarter of an anti-histamine our nights in a row as the cheek rash had become itchy and I started to scratch the neck.

Although the skin looked dry and red at times, nothing was improving it until I started doing some exercise that made me sweat!

Sweat has made the face skin feel better and having done 3 days of sweating, it is now improving! Have to force myself to do some more indoor spin sessions.

Rash 2:
Soon after the first week of the face rash, a small itchy red dotted rash appeared on my left thigh. It was itchy when I was hot and sweaty!!! I thought I might have spread the face rash somehow to my thigh. So I applied the anti-fungal cream there too! Another patch on the left thigh appeared and now a patch has appeared on the right hand side.

Two days ago when the sun was shining and the day felt kind of warm, I bared my legs, going for a long 2.5 hour walk in the park. The itching has eased and the patch has dried. Today has been another one hour session and the rash patches feel like they are healing!

At the same time have been trying to keep to a better diet during winter. This has been hard at times especially with the Christmas period of festivities. Anyway back to chewing through some lovely greens, increasing the protein and reducing the carbs.

Hope your itches are all under control.